Unemployment, working poor and vulnerable employment to increase dramatically due to global economic crisis

Published at ILO on 28 jan 2009

GENEVA (ILO News) – The global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment, the International Labour Office (ILO) says in its annual Global Employment Trends report (GET) (Note 1).

Based on new developments in the labour market and depending on the timeliness and effectiveness of recovery efforts, the report says global unemployment in 2009 could increase over 2007 by a range of 18 million to 30 million workers, and more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate.

The ILO report also said that in this last scenario some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be pushed into extreme poverty.

“The ILO message is realistic, not alarmist. We are now facing a global jobs crisis. Many governments are aware and acting, but more decisive and coordinated international action is needed to avert a global social recession. Progress in poverty reduction is unravelling and middle classes worldwide are weakening. The political and security implications are daunting”, said ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia.

“The crisis is underscoring the relevance of the ILO Decent Work Agenda. We find many elements of this Agenda in current measures to promote job creation, deepening and expanding social protection and more use of social dialogue”, Mr. Somavia said. He called on the upcoming meeting of the G-20 on 2 April in London, alongside financial issues, to urgently agree on priority measures to promote productive investments, decent work and social protection objectives, and policy coordination. Continue reading

ILO meeting to discuss employment crunch in the financial sector

Published at ILO, 23 February 2009

Keywords also in Wikipedia:  Globalisation, Credit Crunch, Financial Crisis, Economy, Employment, Trade Unions, Social Movement, ILO

GENEVA (ILO News) – More than 100 senior representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, gather here on 24-25 February to discuss the impact of the economic crisis on the more than 20 million people employed in the financial sector worldwide.

A new ILO report prepared for the meeting says jobs in financial services around the world have been strongly affected, with announced layoffs exceeding 325,000 between August 2007 and 12 February 2009.

With close to 40 per cent of the above losses, or 130,000 lost jobs, announced from October 2008 to 12 February 2009, the report also sees a rapid acceleration in financial services job cuts over recent months.

“These figures almost certainly understate the real situation in a sector which has been at the epicentre of the financial and economic crisis”, said Elizabeth Tinoco, Chief of the ILO’s Sectoral Activities Branch. “As the global economy sinks further into recession, and financial institutions’ assets experience even greater impairment, the industry’s job losses can be expected to rise even faster.”

The report defines the financial sector as being comprised of employees in the banking industry (retail banking and wholesale banking acting on national, regional or global financial markets); the insurance industry and re-insurance; and other financial intermediaries (e.g. hedge funds, mutual funds, wealth management firms, insurance agents and financial advisors, etc.).

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